Board will pay for record signing (12 Jan)
Aston Villa manager John Gregory has received a massive boost with the news that the club's
 money-men are ready to bankroll his bid to sign Juninho - or any other major signings. 

 Gregory is stepping up his bid to sign the Brazilian star who was valued at around £15million by his current club Atletico Madrid. 

 And Villa's financial director Mark Ansell has confirmed that Villa will not flinch from splashing out
 what it takes to sign Juninho if he decides to return to England. 

 Gregory has already admitted that Villa will need to bring in three or four top class players for next
 season if they achieve their goal of qualifying for the Champions' League. 

 Ansell said: ``The board have already confirmed to John Gregory that should the players become
 available that he wants then he can bank on our support. 

 ``It is down to the fantastic success of the last 12 months that makes it even more possible to
 support further purchasing of players. 

 ``We are soon hoping to resolve our problems with the local council regarding redeveloping Villa
 Park. At the moment we are virtually selling out every game and there is a massive demand. 

 ``It is important that same demand is there for years to come. We want to keep the current
 momentum going, but recognise that part of that must be to back John Gregory in the transfer

 Gregory has already spent £21million in the last six months to bring in Alan Thompson, Paul
 Merson, Steve Watson and Dion Dublin, but has also sold Dwight Yorke to Manchester United
 for £12.6million. 

 But he recognises that Villa need to strengthen their squad even further to compete with the likes of  Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool. 

Martin Sivorn © 1999.E-Mail Me